‘A&E will not close’ under merger plan

b11-1231 Joe Harrison new Chief Executive of Bedford Hospital. JE wk 43
b11-1231 Joe Harrison new Chief Executive of Bedford Hospital. JE wk 43

The chief executive of Bedford Hospital claimed this week that A&E services will not close under merger plans.

And in an interview with the Times & Citizen, Joe Harrison claimed that the merger provide a better standard of care at the hospital.

Earlier this month Dave Hodgson, The Mayor of Bedford launched a Save Bedford Hospital campaign. And while Mr Harrison declined to comment on the move he did criticise ‘senior stakeholders’ for suggesting that services may suffer.

He said: “Legally we are not allowed to move any services around as part of a merger. You can only close a service by going out to public consultation.”

He added: “We are absolutely committed to maintaining A&E services on this site. There is no question of taking A&E services off this site and it is unhelpful when senior stakeholders potentially scare the public with things that are untrue.”

And Mr Harrison stood by the merger plans claiming that they would help to bring better services to the hospital and protect it from service cuts in the future.

He said: “I genuinely believe it’s the best way of securing cruicial services for the population of Bedford. If we don’t do something like this I can see crucial services moving further afield as the hospital fails.”

To have your say on this story, and hear what Mr Harrison had to say about the separate Healthier Together initiative, visit www.bedfordtoday.co.uk